Cleveland Park Hiking
Carrie Jenkins

When Running Out of Time Leads You To Where You Should Be

Moving to Cleveland Park wasn’t so much the desired intention, but the fortunate accidental confluence of time and budget: I had run out of time and I found a great deal on an apartment. Looking in the area, I liked the vibe and the aesthetic of the neighborhood, but I had lived five years downtown in the thick of tall office buildings, ambulance paths, no parking, and general urban swell. Though just a mile or two away, the neighborhoods seemed worlds apart. I’ll admit: the day I moved in I had a little buyer’s remorse, feeling like I was too far removed from the crush of the fashionable that I had left behind.

One of those first evenings in early June, I went on a run to get the lay of the land. As I started my jog, I began down the long hill of Porter Street to see what was behind the major stretch of Connecticut Ave. I ran into Melvin C Hazen Park, allowing myself to go wherever the paths took me. I ended up running on dirt hills lined with trees and grass and streams and rocks and…well, nature. I was reminded of when I was a kid and we would bike ride in the summer to the edge of the woods and go exploring until it was too dark to see. I stopped more than a few times to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

It occurred to me to wonder when the last time on a run through all of that “downtown” I thought I would miss, had I felt compelled to stop what I was doing and snap photos. Not once, to memory.

I think, to me, that is one of the highlights of living in Cleveland Park: the proximity to all things in the city, all things one might need, but still the availability of a more suburban, peaceful environment. That balance is hard to master but even harder to do with the charm that our neighborhood possesses.

I still have those pictures and I still run those trails. I guess sometimes running out of time gets you exactly where you want to go.

Carrie Jenkins is originally from Phoenix, MD, a small town in Baltimore County. A pastry chef and runner, she has lived in Cleveland Park for almost two years. She plans to establish a running club of for neighbors in Cleveland Park.

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